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  • Author or Editor: Michael Schroeder x
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NAA and BA are important compounds for regulating crop load in apples (Malus domestica Borkh.). When used for fruit thinning, both induce abscission, but at an equivalent crop load NAA tends to reduce and BA to increase fruit size. There is a strong interaction between NAA and BA when used together on ‘Delicious’ and ‘Fuji’, leading to excessive development of pygmy and small fruit (<65 mm diameter). The combination of BA (as Promalin, 1:1 BA + GA4+7) applied at king bloom (KB) and NAAm (amide) at petal fall increased the percentage of small fruit by 3.3- or 5.1-fold compared with BA or NAAm alone. Similar results were obtained with BA (Promalin) at KB oversprayed with NAA at 10 to 12 mm king fruit diameter (KFD). When NAA was oversprayed with BA during fruitlet development, i.e., 5 to 6 mm, 10 to 12 mm, and ≈18 mm KFD, the greatest inhibition of fruit growth occurred at the 10- to 12-mm KFD stage, and there was no significant effect at 18 mm KFD. Inhibition by treatment at the 5- to 6-mm stage was intermediate and trees were overthinned. NAA + BA inhibition of fruit growth in ‘Delicious’ and ‘Fuji’ was not crop load-dependent. In all experiments, crop load (wt basis) of trees treated with NAA + BA was similar or less than of those treated with NAA or BA alone, but they produced 2.5- to 5-fold more small fruit. NAA + BA increased the number of fruit per cluster, many of which failed to fully develop. Increasing the ratio of BA to NAA from 25:15 to 125:15 mg·L−1 increased small fruit formation. The presence of GA4+7 in commercial formulations of BA (0:100, Maxcel; 10:100, Accel; 50:50, Promalin) did not significantly affect the NAA + BA response. Fruit growth was not inhibited by the NAA + BA combination in large-fruited ‘Golden Delicious’ and ‘Jonagold’ and was increased in small-fruited ‘Elstar’ and ‘Gala’ compared with the nontreated control.

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